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5 Key Differences Between an HMO and PPO Insurance Plan

Health Insurance

No matter where you are employed, or whether you are self-employed, your employer will offer you some form of health insurance plan. Most employers typically enroll their employees in a

How to Choose the Best Doctor for Your Annual Checkups


We often only find ourselves going to the doctor whenever we are sick or regarding other complications we may have with our bodies. However, going to the doctor annually is

Top 5 Hospitals to Work for in California


The large state of California has a lot to offer. From its sandy beaches to its wine country, and its urban cities to country ranches, California is definitely a very

5 Key Differences Between an HMO and PPO Insurance Plan

Health Insurance

No matter where you are employed, or whether you are self-employed, your employer will offer you some form of health insurance plan. Most employers typically enroll their employees in a managed care plan, with the two most popular being HMOs, health maintenance organizations, and PPOs, preferred provider organizations.

These managed care plans are in contract with doctors, x-ray laboratories, clinics, pharmacies, and medical equipment vendors, which are all referred to as the health “network.” Some plans require their enrollees to seek care within their network, and others can seek care outside of the network for a higher cost.  While HMOs and PPOs have many factors in common, they also have key differences.

1)     HMO enrollees are required to seek care within their given network. PPO enrollees are given a list of network providers from which they can choose, however, they are not required to receive care within the network, but it could involve higher costs for them.

2)     HMO users are required to choose a primary care physician that they will see for their basic care needs. Children under the same policies will choose a pediatrician as their primary care physician. PPO enrollees do not have to choose a primary care physician.

3)     Referrals are different. If you are under an HMO policy and need to seek care from a physician specialist for any reason, you will need a referral from your primary care doctor so that they can choose a provider in the network to treat you. If you are under a PPO policy, you do not need a referral from your primary care doctor to seek treatment from a physician specialist or any other network provider.

4)     HMO network providers are required to file a claim in order to receive their funds. You do not have to file a claim, and you may not receive a statement or bill. PPO policy holders usually do not have to file a claim if they stay within their network, however, if they go out of their network, filing a claim may be necessary.

5)     Copayments have different rules. In-network services for HMO users will usually only mean the policy holder is responsible for copayments for doctors visits, as well as prescriptions and any other medical procedures that occurred during your visit, as well as any medical equipment. In-network services for PPO policy holders will mean that they are only responsible for copayments, although sometimes there is an annual deductable for the policy holders in-network services, as well as out of network services. Typically, PPO policy holders can be reimbursed by PPOs if they visit an out of network provider and pay for services with their own money.

Knowing and understanding the different types of managed care plans offered by employers is extremely important so that you understand the policy that you are enrolled in once you become employed. It is also important to know the differences between the two so that if you are in the position to choose, you fully understand what your getting out of your managed care plan.

How to Choose the Best Doctor for Your Annual Checkups


We often only find ourselves going to the doctor whenever we are sick or regarding other complications we may have with our bodies. However, going to the doctor annually is the best way to keep up with the constant change of our bodies and catching issues before they have gone too far. Annual checkups account for eight percent of doctor visits in America, and this typically means only 177,000 people report to a doctor annually with no necessary symptoms.

It’s essential to stay on top of our annual checkups to take preventative, cautionary measures for the sake of our health, however, finding the best doctor to provide this kind of care can be difficult. Here are some tips on how to choose the best doctor for your annual checkups.

1)     Do your homework. Know what doctors are out there in your area and know what their specialties are. Ask friends, neighbors, etc. on their preference in local doctor to get the inside scoop on the opinion of others. There are several websites online that users can utilize to write reviews on doctors based on your area. Looking at these types of websites can also help you get better grasp on what’s out there.

2)     Make a wish list. This seems silly to think about making a wish list for a primary care physician, however, it is important because this person is taking your health into their own hands. Write down characteristics of doctors that you are looking to find, whether that means someone that is “personable” or someone that is “thorough.”

3)     Evaluate yourself.  Take time to evaluate your personal health concerns and risk factors. It is important to know and accept the concerns you have about yourself so that you can better find a doctor that might specialize in these needs. Also, write these needs and concerns down so that when you do find a doctor, you do not forget the things he needs to be checking for.

4)     Have an interview. Schedule quick consultation appointments with several doctors in your area and meet with them to ask them questions about the care they offer and get to know more about their practice. This is extremely beneficial if you are seeking a new doctor upon moving to a new area.

5)     Check your insurance plan. If you have health insurance, look to make sure what plan you are on and what your coverage is. This could make a big difference because certain doctors may not accept specific policies, which could greatly affect your co-pay as well as other services that they offer.

Finding the right doctor for your annual health checkups should be a higher priority than we think. We need to find a doctor that you are comfortable with, as well as a well-functioning practice, which can be a difficult task. Taking the time to use these five steps will be very beneficial, and sooner rather than later, you will be on your way to finding the ultimate primary care physician to call your own.

Top 5 Hospitals to Work for in California


The large state of California has a lot to offer. From its sandy beaches to its wine country, and its urban cities to country ranches, California is definitely a very diverse place to live, filled with diverse people. Alongside these statistics, lie even more flattering places to work, and if you are in the healthcare field, you are in luck.

California is home to 430 of the nation’s hospitals. Seventeen out of these 430 hospitals are nationally ranked hospitals. These hospitals are located mostly in metropolitan areas of California, and are known for their higher-than-average care facilities in five different regions. Aside from the 17 nationally ranked hospitals, 41 other hospitals met standards for strong performances in California. The patients are receiving top-quality care in state-of-the-art facilities, however, they are not the only beneficiaries to the state of California’s health systems. Employees of these facilities are also benefitting from the success of these hospitals state-wide. Here are the top five hospitals to work for in California.

1)     UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. This facility is ranked 15th nationally in adult care and 10th in pediatric care. It is the number one hospital in both California and in the Los Angeles Metropolis Area. Since this is primarily a teaching hospital, it is a great place for healthcare employment in California with great benefits and a wonderful work atmosphere.

2)     Stanford Hospital and Clinics in Palo, Alto. This is one of the leading research facilities in the country, and its discoveries have lead to the treatment of complex disorders. Its employees and the relationship they have with the Stanford University School of Medicine and its students are what drives this institution for success and the better health and well-being of their patients.

3)     UC San Diego Medical Center in San Diego. Ranked number 5 in the state of California and number 1 in the San Diego metropolis area, this is another teaching hospital that has optimal opportunities for its employees to better serve its patients.

4)     John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek (San Francisco metro area). This hospital in northern California is high-performing in over eight specific areas, with both full and part-time opportunities for its employees.

5)     UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco. This is the in the top 3 best hospitals in the San Francisco and Oakland area, and specializes in both adult and pediatric specialties alike. Also a teaching hospital, this facility offers the opportunity for its employees to grow together and build relationships with the University of California at San Francisco to better care for their patients.

There are exceptional healthcare facilities located in all areas of the state of California. Typically, the best hospitals for patients are also just as caring and good to its employees. There are 17 nationally ranked hospitals in the entire state, and while the majority of them are teaching hospitals, there are always opportunities for employment and helping medical students grow into their careers. To view more stats and rankings, visit health.usnews.com.

The 5 Best Blood Testing Centers in San Diego, California

In San Diego, California, several blood testing centers exist where you can get blood drawn or even take phlebotomy classes. These centers work with one purpose: to provide their patients with the best medical and laboratory care, especially when it comes to blood testing. A patient may need a blood test due to several reasons, such as being part of a routine physical exam, tests that measures the level of components and substances present in a patient’s body, as well as blood tests done to avoid certain medical conditions and issues.

Certainly, a sound patient would want to achieve the best level of service coming from a blood testing center. After all, health and safety should never be compromised. Therefore, a good blood testing facility should strictly implement and follow the guidelines on medical safety as set by recognized medical organizations. Aside from that, they should be affiliated with an organization that qualifies them among the elite testing centers in the area.

A good blood testing facility should also be equipped with the necessary tools needed to accomplish different blood testing procedures. These equipments should also pass quality standards of operation, making sure that they focus on their patients’ best interests. In San Diego, California, the following are the 5 best blood testing centers available.

1. San Diego Blood Bank – San Diego, CA

In San Diego Blood Bank, medical professionals are expected to adhere to GMP (good manufacturing practices) guidelines. They have an established set of procedures in which the employees strictly abide to, thus ensuring the facility’s capability to provide for the needs of their patients.

2. Local Biotech Company – San Diego, CA

Local Biotech Company specializes in blood testing and analysis. Their laboratory technicians are equipped with the skills and expertise in offering the best solutions in terms of providing blood testing services to different patients. Safety within their facility is their foremost concern, thus, they make sure that precautions are strictly followed.

3. Personalabs – San Diego, CA

In this blood testing facility, patients are expected to achieve the same professional tests generally obtained from a hospital at a comparatively lower price. With this offer, patients are offered not just affordable, but also confidential and convenient blood testing procedures.

4. Sharp HealthCare – San Diego, CA

The laboratory services provided by Sharp HealthCare are comprehensive and of high quality. They have outpatient laboratory and blood testing services spread out in 13 different locations all over the San Diego area. Patients are assured of convenience everytime they visit the center for a blood testing procedure.

5. Scripps Health

The medical professionals at Scripps are skilled in analyzing blood tests for different patients. Results obtained after a blood test is sent directly to the patient’s physician, making it more convenient on the part of the patient.

Indeed, finding a blood testing center to assist you with your needs is not that difficult in San Diego, California. Options are available for you. The list provided above provides you with the necessary information in order to determine where you need to go if you need to undergo a blood testing procedure.

If you’re interested in becoming an employee at these centers, make sure to know the range for a phlebotomist salary before you interview with these employers. It helps to have a target in mind before you negotiate!

The Top 3 Dialysis Technician Programs in New York

Career options have now been expanding. If you’ve wanted to get a job as a dialysis technician, you need to pick the right school.

Before jobs were limited to being teachers, doctors, engineers and alike. But now, there is a new line of jobs available and expanding. I am referring to jobs and careers that are vocational or skilled jobs.

Jobs are not limited to thinking and analysing. There are jobs that require skill and techniques. These jobs will range from mechanics to jobs at hospitals and clinics like a dialysis technician.

People will basically think that a dialysis technician is a person who operates a dialysis machine, the dialyzer. This is partially true. A dialysis technician is someone who would oversee that the dialyzer is functioning properly. But there is more to that. A dialysis technician must interview the patient and get important information regarding their medical history. They would also have to clean the machine before and after every use. They would be the ones giving medications to as they undergo dialysis. All of these are done by the technician under a doctor’s supervision.

As you may have noticed, it is not a simple job. It would require knowledge and skill. But it is a fast growing course. A lot of schools, institutions have been put up to meet the demand. At New York alone there are a lot of programs being offered to help students and individuals learn all about dialysis.

Here is a list of the top three (3) dialysis technician programs at New York.

1. The Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Institute is one of the finest places to get knowledge on being a dialysis technician. They offer a wide range of topics such as: the kidney – anatomy, physiology and pathology, hemodialysis, infection control, taking care of a patient, assessment of a patient, and medications that are related to the dialysis procedure. An individual could choose between their two class schedules. One lasts for 6 weeks, 4 days a week during a weekday evening which is ideal for those who have work or other classes. The other class schedule would be 6 weeks, 2 days a week during the weekends.

If you are interested or you know anyone who wants to be a dialysis technician, you could always contact them at:

The Manhattan Institute

255 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016

6th floor – Between 28 & 29 Street 

Telephone number: 347-220-8181

2. Dialysis4Career

Innovative Training System, LLC, D/B/A Dialysis4Career is a special training school dedicated in teaching hemodialysis. You could either attend their classes or be taught via internet. Either way, you are assured to get the best learning in renal dialysis because their staff and faculty consists highly trained professionals. Furthermore, they are licensed and registered under New York State. They also have partnership with Borough Manhattan Community College(BMCC/CUNY) where they could practice and apply what they have learned.

To learn more about them you could contact and visit them through the following address:


School of Hemodialysis

Licensed Post-Secondary Trade School of New York State Department of Education

250 Fulton Avenue Suite M232

Hempstead, NY 11550

Phone: (516) 292-2966

Fax: (516) 292-2963

3. Star Career Academy

Another great place to learn on how to be a dialysis technician is at Star Career Academy. They have two campuses at New York and several more at New Jersey and Philadelphia. They offer both theoretical and practical teachings to better understand the process of kidney dialysis and be the best dialysis technician. They teach the basics of the kidney, kidney diseases, how to operate the dialyzer and how to manage a patient. After training with them, one could take the Certified Hemodialysis Technician or CHT test which is given by the Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology or BONENT.

For more information, feel free to contact them at:


Star Career Academy

154 West 14th Street

New York, NY 10011

Telephone number: (212) 675-6655


Star Career Academy

125 Michael Drive

Syosset, NY 11791

Telephone number: (516) 364-4344


The Top 3 Chest Congestion Medicine That Doctors Recommend

Chest congestion is a medical condition that involves the lungs or the lower respiratory track. It usually is the accumulation of excess mucus and fluid in the lungs. It can cause a person to experience cough, chest pains and difficulty breathing.

What Causes Chest Congestion?

Chest congestion can be caused by several reasons. Some of them are the following:

  • Asthma
  • Common cold
  • Flu
  • Bronchitis
  • Airborne allergies
  • Pulmonary edema
  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • Group
  • Pneumonia
  • Heart failure
  • Lung cancer
  • Cystic fibrosis

The most common causes of chest congestion are the common cold and infections caused by bacteria, allergens and fungi.

What are Symptoms of Chest Congestion?

The symptoms that a person has chest congestion are easy to identify:

  • Coughing
  • Labored and short breathing
  • Noisy breathing
  • Chest pains
  • Dizziness
  • Runny nose and wheezing
  • Coughing out blood

Chest congestion can also be a symptom of some other medical condition if accompanied by other symptoms. For example, if the person has chest congestion and also is running a fever, it could mean that the person has flu. It could also be a symptom of pneumonia if the person’s breathing becomes more labored and if coughing involves blood. For these cases, it is best for the person to consult a doctor so that proper medication can be subscribed.

Chest Congestion Remedies

There are several remedies of chest congestion. One can opt to go with home remedies or take medicine, over the counter or those prescribed by doctors.

Home remedies might be the first option for people with minor symptoms like the common cold. Some of these are:

  • Hot Water. This is the most common and easiest remedy. Instead of drinking cold water, it is recommended to drink hot water especially in the morning right after waking up. This is because the mucous is the most thick and hard at this time. Hot water will help dissolve the phlegm. Another option is to add salt to the hot water and gargle three to four times a day.
  • Herbal Tea. Anything hot is good for chest congestion. A hot tea prepared with herbs like ginger is best as ginger is an anti-inflammatory agent.
  • Steam Inhaling. This is also one of the best home remedies for chest congestion. It can be done by taking hot water in a bowl and mixing drops of essential oils like eucalyptus, pine, or rosemary. Incline the person’s head over the bowl and place a towel of their head. This way, the person can inhale the steam with the essential oils.

Chest Congestion Medicine

There are several chest congestion medicines that doctors recommend. The top 3 are the following:

  • Vicks VapoRub and other Vicks products. The Vicks family is the best over-the-counter medicine available. Vicks VapoRub is also a topical medicine and this means it does not interfere with other drugs.
  • Tylenol Chest Congestion is another over-the-counter medicine. Doctors recommend this because it also contains acetaminophen that relieves pains, aches, and fevers involved with a cold.
  • Mucinex is an expensive but very effective chest congestion medicine. It can relieve congestion for up to 12 hours.

The Three Best Hospitals to Work for in California

Health and wellness has always been a top priority of people. To find that in an employer, you need to choose carefully.  A better hospital does not only attract patient but also employees.

At California alone there are more than 400 hospitals not including small clinics. A healthcare practitioner could apply to any of these hospitals, as long as there is a vacant position. The question for the healthcare practitioner would be “where should I apply.”

Lucky for you, we have chosen three of the best hospitals to work for at California.

1. Pala Alto Medical Foundation

Visit at: http://www.pamf.org/

To top the list, we have Palo Alto Medical Foundation at Palo Alto. They have been consistently ranking at different surveys: it has been included at the top 25 hospitals to work for at the United States, ranked number one as the Top Non-Profit Workplace and ranked number six in 2010 as one of the Top 10 Large Companies to Work For.

The last one mentioned holds a lot of value because the response of the survey was based from their employees. Employees had the opportunity to rate the leadership of the company, company values, communication within the company, efficiency, career advancement, professional development, working environment, salary, benefits and the management.

One of the reasons why employees love this company is their high values and community service. They are able to give back to the community, especially those less privileged via different healthcare services.

To know more about them you could visit:

Palo Alto Medical Foundation

Recruitment Office

2350 W. El Camino Real, Second Floor

Mountain View, CA 94040

2. Ronald Reagan University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical Center

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center is one of the best within the United States especially when it comes to surgical procedures and research projects.

Another thing this medical center is famous for, are the benefits employees receive. They support professionals who wish to study by reimbursing their tuitions. They also offer benefits such as retirement plans, health insurance, access to a credit union, on-site childcare for parents, family counselling, and free transportation service.

A feedback from their employee says that the work environment is “stimulating” and that harmony exists between employees.

To know more about this hospital you could visit:

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center

757 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095

3. Scripps Mercy Hospital

Scripps Mercy Hospital is the biggest and longest established hospital within California. It has two campuses located at San Diego and Chula Vista that have been in service for at least 120 years. This hospital provides quality healthcare and great employee benefits.

The hospital’s management offers employees a wide range of benefits like financial protection, health insurances, and retirement plans. In addition to the employee’s salary, they could receive incentives and awards. These help employees be motivated and inspired to work and perform their best. Aside from this, the management ensures that the working environment is inspiring and motivating.

To know more about this hospital you could visit:

Scripps Mercy Hospital

San Diego Campus

4077 5th Avenue

San Diego, CA 92103

Phone: 619-294-8111


Scripps Mercy Hospital

Hula Vista Campus

435 H Street

Chula Vista, CA 91910

Phone: 619-691-7000

When looking for a healthcare job or any job, it is important to weigh in the tangible and intangible benefits. Keep in mind that there is more than just money when it comes to working. You should ask the other benefits like health insurance, leaves, retirement plans and loans. You would also consider the work place; is it near from you home, is there an available public transportation, and is the work place a positive working environment. Also see if there are any chances for your career growth and continual education. There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a workplace.